How to Perfectly Grill Summer Squash

Chicken and summer squash on a grill

If you don’t know how to BBQ summer squash properly, you’re going to end up with a full plate of leftovers when the cookout is over. Summer squash can be a delicious side dish, but it can also go in the complete opposite direction.

The problem with summer squashes is that they’re typically viewed as an afterthought. You want to have some veggies on the menu, so you grab a yellow squash and a zucchini knowing full well that the chances of them actually getting consumed are slim to none. We’ve been there.

The problem is that most people don’t know how to grill summer squash so that they have an appealing taste and texture. You try a bland, slimy, squishy squash once, gag a little, and swear them off for life.

Sure, not everyone’s going to love every food, but we think summer squashes deserve a second chance. Properly seasoned and seared, their mild flavor profile pairs beautifully alongside all sorts of grilled meats, and a nice char takes care of that unpleasant squishiness.

Ready to give BBQ summer squash another shot? Follow this guide.

1. Choose the Right Size Squash

We recommend choosing a squash that’s small to medium in size. Even if you know how to grill summer squash properly, larger squashes tend to contain more liquid, which is a major contributor to that unpleasant texture we’re trying to avoid.

2. Slice Your Squash

Sliced yellow squash and zucchini on a cutting board

Slicing summer squash too thick is another common cause of the dreaded squishy, slimy, squashy squash. Whether you slice them sideways into medallions or lengthwise into planks, we recommend that they’re no thicker than ½ of an inch. Thin slices crisp up nicely.

Before slicing your squash, check the size of your grill’s grates. The squash pieces will shrink a bit as they cook, so you’ll want to make sure they won’t fall through the spaces between the grates. When in doubt, cut lengthwise (unless you’re putting them on kebabs).

3. Season Your Squash

Knowing how to grill summer squash is only half the battle. You need to season them properly to give them enough flavor without going overboard.

Summer squash has a very mild flavor, so it might be tempting to season the heck out of them to compensate. But then you end up with an overwhelming flavor bomb that tastes more like a salt lick than a vegetable.

Instead, lean into the mild taste. Season lightly, and let the charred outside take care of most of the flavor. BBQ summer squash is meant to be a side dish, not the main event. The mild flavor works well as more of a palate cleanser than the star of the show.

As you experiment with how to grill summer squash, you’ll find a seasoning blend that fits your preferences. We recommend starting with just a dash of sea salt, cracked pepper, and garlic powder.

4. Oil Your Squash

Next, you’ll want to toss your squash slices with your preferred oil until they’re fully coated. Avocado and grapeseed oil are excellent choices because of their higher smoke point, but olive or vegetable oil will do the job.

5. Crank the Heat

A fiery grill grate

This is the most important step. The goal is to sear the squash rapidly so the outside gets a nice char without overcooking the inside into slime. Even if you know how to grill summer squash like a pro, if your grill isn’t hot enough, you’re going to run into problems.

Many gas grill users don’t bother with grilled foods that need to be seared because their grills don’t get hot enough. Gas grills have many advantages, but heat isn’t one of them. Fortunately, there’s a solution.

The FlavrQ Grilling System increases the temperature of gas grills by 100° or more. This makes it possible for you to sear all sorts of grilled foods to perfection.

With meats like chicken thighs, chicken breasts, steaks, and pork steaks, you sear to seal the moisture in, resulting in juicier food. When you BBQ summer squash, you sear to reduce the internal moisture, resulting in crispier food.

6. Sear Your Squash

Here’s how to grill summer squash: put it on the grill for around 2-3 minutes on each side. That said, we recommend using your eyes, not your watch. The goal is to char the outside without burning it—there’s a fine line you don’t want to cross.

Unleash Your Inner Grill Master with FlavrQ

Give squash a chance at your next summer or spring BBQ—you might be surprised by the difference these grilling techniques make. Of course, some people just don’t like squash, but it’s always nice to have another veg option, even if it’s just for the guests.

Now that you know how to grill summer squash, here’s the final secret ingredient: FlavrQ! Our gas grill accessories boost heat so you can sear food 50% faster, but that’s not even the best part. FlavrQ also infuses your food with authentic, charcoal-grilled flavor.

Summer squash really pops when you get that rich, robust charcoal-grilled flavor going, especially combined with the perfect sear. The mild flavor acts as a blank canvas, letting you infuse it with flame-kissed goodness that you just can’t get with gas.

The FlavrQ Starter Kit comes with everything you need to teach your old gas grill new tricks—the FlavrQ Grid and two 2-lb bags of our patented ChipCharwood®. Learning how to grill summer squash is a start. Now it’s time to take your BBQ summer squash grilling game to the next level. Boost your Q with FlavrQ!